South Africa seeks stronger ties with Nigeria 

Linda Sangaret, PHOTO:

Linda Sangaret, PHOTO:

As the global market is becoming more competitive for every nation, South Africa has renewed efforts to forge stronger economic relations with Nigeria.

The country aims to do this by promoting the positive perception about South Africa in Nigeria.

Speaking at a media parley in Lagos on Monday, the Chief Marketing Officer of Brand South Africa, Linda Magapatona-Sangaret, said Brand South Africa, an agency within the South Africa Ministry of Communications, is in Nigeria to collaborate and discuss the potential project that the two “economic giants” in Africa can work together.

As at last year, Nigeria’s and South Africa’s GDPs was valued at $569 billion and $353 respectively, the highest in the continent.

“We are here to share experiences about what has worked and what has not worked. We have invested a lot of research and we would like to share the result of those researches and analyze it together, and to reassure Nigeria that the relationship we have built over the year will remain a priority. So we are not bringing new things to Nigeria, rather we are renewing the basis of how to build our relationship.

“In fact, there is a lot to be learnt from the countries that got independent before us and Nigeria is one of such countries,” said Mrs. Sangaret.

Nigeria became an independent nation more than 30 years before South Africa got liberated from the hold of Apartheid government. The country held its first democratic election in 1994.

Sangaret, who has also served South Africa as a diplomat in Paris between 1995-1999, said there is a lot of similarities between Nigeria and South Africa.

According to her, Nigeria and South Africa are well endowed with natural resources and economic means, and it is important that the two countries exploit their resources for the development of the continent.

“We (Nigeria and South Africa) have a great responsibility to contribute greatly to the development of the continent to ensure that the action we take is for the benefit of Africans. We recognize that South Africa cannot develop if other African countries do not develop.’’

Speaking about the mandate of Brand South Africa, she said the government embarked on a nation building exercise in 2002.

“We realize it was important to set up an agency that will defend the country’s reputation and market it globally in order to enhance investment in the country and building the reputation internationally.”

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